The bedroom was dimly lit by the light shining through the half-open closet door. She confessed she never liked to have the lights on during sex. She felt exposed, too seen. He loved seeing her body in the light, her curves, her dark skin glistening with sweat, but he relented to her desire just as she did to his. They made love in the dark. When it was over, they collapsed opposite each other, exhausted, breathing heavily, giving each other sly looks, amazed at what they’d done and felt. He picked her up and put her head on his chest stroked her hair. They fell into that silent sweet peace and pleasureful rest of total fatigue and exertion of this most intimate act.
"Be honest with me”, she looked up at him, her eyes barely
visible, “Are you only with me because of sex?"
"Darling, how could you say such a thing?", he said
with disbelief. "Why are you still here in my arms? Why would I share the
secrets of my heart, my laughter, my food, my bed? Just because we only meet at
night doesn’t mean we only fuck and say goodbye and wait for next time. What makes
you ask me such a thing?".
She bit her lip, second guessing herself. Maybe she had imagined
“It’s exactly that”, she said, “Why do we only meet at night? Why do I drive all the way here and leave at 3 in the morning every time? Why don’t we go out to dinner or to the park or even to just watch a movie? Why can’t we even just go for a walk outside?!”
“It’s just so much nicer to have you here in my bed”, he laughed.
“I’m just kidding.”
“This is what I mean. I’ve known you for months now and we always meet here. We drink, we fuck, and I leave.”
“You told me you didn’t want a relationship.”
“I don’t! But-”, she looked off at the corner of the room and fell silent.
“What? Say it.”
“I know I said I’m leaving in a few months, but it’s just been so nice meeting you. I really feel a connection with you. I’ve never had someone show me sex could be fun like you did. I know we can be different but there’s nothing wrong with that. I just don’t want to feel used.”
“That’s the last thing I want you to feel.”
Would he have to abstain from sex for awhile to stop these infernal questions? Why did it always come to this? Couldn’t he just sleep with someone and keep it simple? It’s not like he slept around with other people. He was hers. Still, all he wanted was her company in his bed. He didn’t care about what she was like as a kid or what her dreams were. He looked over and saw her back turned to him. He saw the small of her back. All he could think was how delicious she looked, and he felt his desire again. Her shoulders bent forward away from him and her hair draped on his bed like the falling roots of a tree. She started to look small and sad. Maybe he did care more than he cared to admit?
“What can I do? How about we go roller skating tomorrow? You always keep telling me about how much you love it.”
“Stop. I know you don’t actually want to.”
He moved closer and kissed her bare shoulder feeling the skin prickle at his touch. He smiled at how such a simple thing made her tremble, just by the touch of his lips.
“I do. I want to spend time with you. I’m just not very good at this, you know. I told you about it. I tried to, at least.”
“You don’t understand” she whimpered.
“Then help me to understand.”
He put his arms around her. She was cold. He tried his best to warm her up, holding her tightly, and pulled the covers over both of them, so they were starting to get warm and share in the closeness of their bodies.
“You can tell me” he said, “you can tell me anything.”
She started shaking. Outside a car was driving by and he could hear the hum outside of the engine, otherwise the night was silent and tender and entirely indifferent.
“I think I’m falling in love with you”.
The room suddenly felt immense and vast and even though they were touching he felt a sea of distance and a clamminess and dizziness fell over him. Could someone, anyone actually love him? The silence lingered and he heaved a sigh.
“I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have told you. I should go”, she started to get up and he let her. He could hear the quiet sniffling, the holding back of tears, her hurried movements to leave as quickly as possible. He saw her do it all and felt nothing lost in a sea of confusion and distance. He realized she was really leaving now right as she put her shoes on,
And she did. He got up to the edge of the bed. He reached his hand out so she could take hold of it. Reluctantly, she wiper her face, and took his hand and sauntered over to him, two misunderstood souls in the dark holding hands and miserable. They said nothing.
“You really have nothing to say?”
Looking into her eyes he felt the nothingness, only a slight comfort, a promise of something in a world of emptiness. He didn’t love her, but he was lonely. He didn’t know anyone else, had almost nothing in his life, and found the effort too much, even to think about finding someone new. He was comfortable. He liked fucking her. He thought honestly to himself. She didn’t make him feel good in anyway except with her body, whether it was with sex or by the warmth of feeling her close to him, not just her but a something, someone that could make him forget his loneliness.
“I do love you, darling. I do”